The first couple of months with the constant neck pain, muscle spasm and headache I think I stayed in the fight or flight mode. It quickly tired me out though. I realized I needed a way of coping. I could not read more than one line. My focus and concentration was not available to me.
I started looking for a way to help this as I was also trying to research the injury itself because as I was trying to read what I found on the injury I could not retain and understand what I was reading. Positive thinking comes naturally to me for the most part, but I didn’t have a method to it. So, under these circumstances I did not know what to do. At night when I was trying to settle to sleep, I could not shut off the voice saying “I’m scared, I can’t do this, this hurts, how am I going to face tomorrow?”
The first quote that helped was:
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise – Victor Hugo
I started repeating it to myself in the evening. As I repeated it and let the other thoughts go, I was able to pick up a book and read. The books I was reading were on meditation. I used meditation to enable me to learn meditation. One form of meditation is to focus on words, the other is to let things go, and stop reacting. Both worked for me. I did have to learn one at a time.
The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series)
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
The Power Of Now by Eckart Tolle was a powerful read for me. It taught me exactly what the title says – the power of now, the power of existing in the now is tremendous. If we are thinking about the past and what could possibly happen in the future, we are in the moment, in the now. Part of what I learned from reading this book is not to pay attention to the constant random thoughts. In ceasing to acknowledge I was able to focus on the moment. I was able to stop thinking about the pain I was in. I found it was like physical exercise in that the more I practised, the easier it became.
Eckart Tolle describes “enlightenment as simply your natural state of feeling oneness with Being. It is a state on connectedness with something immeasurable and indestructible, something that almost paradoxically, is essentially you, and yet is much greater than you. It is finding your true nature and form. The inability to feel this connectedness gives rise to the illusion of separation, from yourself and the world around you. You then perceive yourself, consciously and unconsciously, as an isolated fragment. Fear arises, and conflict within and without becomes the norm.”
Another quote that I chose to use as a personal tool was:
I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it – May Angelou
Sometimes when the pain was really bad, I would picture a beach. The reason why I chose a beach is when I am physically at the beach I feel free, anything is possible. I can do that any time of the day. As soon as I feel that fear rise up that the pain is going to take over and ruin the day I take my mind to the beach. Sometimes I can hear the waves, smell the salty water, feel the moist air on my skin, and I feel a calmness come over me.
I wrote the following words out. Sometimes I would just read through to guide me. It always helped. The long sleepless nights because of the pain opened the tunnel of fear for me. I needed a way to help myself find my inner strength. I have shared it quite a few times and have had positive feedback with it.
Nourishment With Inspiration
When you feel the most negative, like the weight of the world is on your shoulders….just pause, close your eyes, and take some deep breaths from the belly. As you are doing this let your mind stop talking, stop thinking about what you feel. Stop answering the questions, stop asking the questions. Stop reacting. Let each thought come and go without reacting with emotion. Continue to breath.
When you are ready, when you have stopped reacting to your thoughts, open your eyes, and read the following words. When you are reading the words, you need to believe them to be true, you need to buy into it, because it is true.
You are beautiful. You are irreplaceable. There is not one other person, like you. You are valuable. All you need to do is ask, and your friends and family will walk with you.
You are stronger than you know, smarter than you think, loved more than you feel.
You are amazing just the way you are.
Believe in yourself & all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle. ~Christian D. Larson
All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; re-newed shall be blade that was broken, the crown-less again shall be king. ~J.R.R. Tolkien quote
You are somebody’s reason to smile
When you are finished, if you need to repeat it – do so.
Sometimes you have to forget how you feel, and remember what you deserve. When we are feeling under-valued and unappreciated, it can be far too easy to buy into the opinion of others that causes such sorrow. When we are feeling low, it is natural to beat ourselves up over the little things we do/don’t do/say, because we have reason to question our worth if somebody else has expressed a dissatisfaction. Well I’m telling you right here and right now, DON’T! Often people express how they feel about themselves in the way they treat others.. do not let their poor self-esteem drag you down to their level. That means you don’t need to stuff yourself with cake/sweets/wine/cigarettes/whatever, to suppress that uncomfortable feeling, or or snap at your loved ones, be rude to servers, behave in an unkind manner; such behaviour just reinforces your poor opinion, and you’ll find yourself entering into a downward spiral. Stop and think about it, value yourself despite the opinions of others, only you know your true worth, because only you are privileged to view your thoughts and motives, do not let anyone else persuade you otherwise. Be gentle with yourself, be kind to others, be aware of how others make you feel, and recognise that you know what you deserve, so go out and live it!
These readings and more gave me the tools to start with. Two years later I was introduced to Qi Gong by an amazing gentleman Yancy Orchard. The quiet sitting took me to a whole different level. I found emotional balance, mental clarity, and spiritual integration. I continue to practice daily and have learned much about it, yet have much more to learn.